FLCL soundtrack CD: ADDICT

Anime: FLCL (Fooly Cooly)
Type: Soundtrack CD
Price: US$6-15 for Hong Kong versions, a whole lot more for the Japanese one!
Out now

Fooly Cooly whaaat? Well, it's getting big in the anime circles. FLCL's a 6 episode DVD-only anime series from the same people who brought you that anime with pvc rubber suit fetishes, giant screaming robots fighting and eating giant rubber monsters, sex-hungry girls who go around stark naked, and the meaning of life, all rolled into one. What do you mean you've never heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Don't worry, FLCL's quite a departure from Gainax's most famous anime. After bumming around from all the money made by Rei-crazy fanboys, they've created a really weird show. Honest. Stranger than Digi Charat. The essential plot is that there's this kid with giant robots and guitars that come out of his head, and this psycho pink-haired girl who goes around banging people with her Vespa while trying to seduce the boy, and this really cool transforming robot who goes by the cute name of Kanchi. Just...go watch the show.

On to the CD. It's FOOL of COOL muzak. (groan in pain!!)

But seriously, it makes a great CD regardless of whether you've seen the show or not. probably better if you've seen the show, but it can be appreciated if you haven't. 

The disc contains 21 tracks, with 7 sung songs. Technically 2 of them have lyrics that only last a sentence so it makes for 5.

The bulk of the music has a nice grungey rock feel to it. The sung songs are recorded by this Japanese group called the Pillows, whose style can best be described as slow grunge, I guess. It's got a very distinct style to it, incorporating a good mix of alternative, J-rock, and grunge. It's not entirely angstful, but peppered with strange but niceness to it. A little like having drunk musicians sing about nothing in particular while jumping up and down a lot. 

Great tunes, too. Of note is the ending theme to the show "Ride on Shooting Star", which is highly addictive the more you listen to it. The lyrics are crazy stuff. Also favourites are "Instant Music" and "Little Busters", which is a fun happy shouting & cheering kind of song, and it's especially memorable because it's the song they play everytime Kanchi powers up and transforms into a huge cannon thing. 

The BGM for the series is also extensively featured here, and includes most of the memorable tunes.  It's a good mix of styles and tempo with a heavy dose of alternative rock. Great guitars, naturally.

Overall I'd give this one an A, maybe more if you've actually seen the show. Can't give it an A+ coz that would put it up there with Yoko Kano's Bebop stuff. This one doesn't quite have the amount of variety as Bebop, due to the reliance on rock/grunge as part of its style, but it's still a fantastic soundtrack, IMO, and a nice change from your regular anime music.